Most houses are defined by their commonalities, everything from bedrooms to bathrooms to kitchens. While these may account for everything you’d ever need, there are plenty of people out there who have used their homes as an opportunity to stretch their imaginations. Here I count down the top 10 cool interior design features we think every house should have:
10. Treehouses and Skate Parks
What’s a better cool interior design than being able to bring the skateboard park home with you? That’s the impetus behind Tokyo based design studio LEVEL who installed a small skate park right into the central living quarters of a Shibuya residence, replete with a number of different angles.
The same idea was picked up and improved upon by French designers Gil Le Bon De Lapointe and Pierre André Senizergues in their study house that featured an even bigger selection of ramps.
Young or old, skilled or new, there’s an undeniable flair to being able to pull an olly in your kitchen or grind across your study.
What’s better than a skate park? How about a treehouse?
If moss walls didn’t bring you close enough to nature, then building your home in the canopy of a tree is the closest thing you can get to returning to the wild short of living in a cave. Ironically enough, some of the more amazing treehouse inspired living situations tend to even ritzier than your average home. There’s an inescapable organic beauty to these elven inspired cool interior designs. For more, checkout our video on the world’s best treehouses.
They’re possibly one of the most mesmerizing and relaxing cool interior design features to look at and hear. So why not put a waterfall into your house. Okay, the size of them may be a limiting factor. But you don’t have to have a huge house – or shopping mall – to have falling water grace your home. Some houses have self-contained water features like this which are just as beautiful than the real thing.
Some even have just a continuous stream of water, akin to a wall made out of water itself. These awesome features bring nature indoors. Some are even cleverly utilized as showers.
They’re so luxurious even some yachts have in-built waterfalls – now that’s fancy!
Walking up and down stairs takes time and ask yourself, would you rather walk downstairs or slit on your bum and slide down the same distance? I rest my case. Slides are awesome and they should be in any house large enough. Many offices, like in YouTube’s Headquarters, have slides, but they definitely deserve a place in ordinary homes too! Have a look at some cool ones, like this wooden one.
This silver one in a minimalist home – which probably should’ve been repositioned away from the window.
My favorite cool interior design feature has to be either this David Hotson designed slide in shiny chrome.
Or this one sliding straight into a private indoor swimming pool!
7. Glass Floors and Walls
Glass tends to be a staple material for office buildings, so why not as a residential option? More and more people seem to have picked up on the amazing potential of working with glass. Not only does it allow in a great deal of sunlight and help keep the feeling of openness, but it also functions as a very modern aesthetic. One house by Italian design company Santambrogio takes minimalism to a whole new level. This house incorporating a fully functional living space and three floors, but it’s constructed almost entirely of blue-tinted glass.
It seems reminiscent of some modern fairy tale. On the other hand, Hernandez Silva Arquitectos went in the other direction. They created a reinforced glass floor in the bathroom of a colonial residence that looks straight down an eerie 15 story shaft.
Situating this design in a bathroom seems apt since it’s bound to scare the crap out of anyone who walks into it.
6. Underground Parking
Taking their cue from James Bonds movies, a number of companies, including a Swiss-based design firm out of Geneva, have managed to bring vertical parking into reality. The Cardok allows two or more cars to fit into a vertical carriage rack, eliminating the need to take up extra space in the driveway.
It only takes thirty seconds to raise. Although the whole operation will put you back several hundred grand, this may be an add-on that’s exclusive to the upper crust clientele. Still, it may almost be worth it just to see the expressions on the neighbors’ faces when you hit the button and your vehicle miraculously lifts out of the ground.
5. Moss/Rock Walls
What better way to spice up your home and make it feel like your own than to upgrade its environmental impact? With the advent of new technologies and the incorporation of green spaces into house blueprints, this is by far one of our favorite design features. In many cases an added emphasis on glass and natural lighting is conducive to including more plants and giving a more natural feel to the aesthetic of a living space. One method of integrating more green into a home is the use of moss walls.
It not only helps to clean the air and inject more oxygen into a room but are also a soothing alternative to synthetic materials. The idea has been around for years, but it picked up popularity in the wake of London-based artist Anna Garforth, who took advantage of some of the more run-down districts in her area to start producing moss graffiti.
Another really cool way of integrating nature into a home is the use of stones to create murals and even fully functional fireplaces. Vancouver based artists Andreas Kunert and Naomi Zettl go all out in creating dynamic and fluid wall pieces using river stones of various colors.
A commission from this genius duo may set you back a few grand. But their home-based business The Ancient Art Of Stone has attracted quite a buzz, both in Canada and abroad.
4. Pet Transit Systems
If you’re wrinkling your brow at this one, don’t worry – so did we at first. It’s a fact that for many of us, we also share our house with a pet, be it cats or fish. So it’s no surprise that a few innovative and animal-friendly designers out there would take their furred and finned friends into consideration. There’s nothing cats love more than testing out their acrobatics. So why not add ropes, bridges, and platforms to cater to their feline needs? One Oakland based firm even went so far as to design a specially tailored transit system for cats using old pipes.
Another crafty builder created an exterior walkway to allow their cats to get some fresh air and walk around the outside of the house.
Although not strictly a residential design feature, the now-defunct Liquid Potion Lounge in Evanston, IL adopted a similar transit system, but for fish. Suspended ten feet above the establishment, a complicated vacuum and pump system kept the whole elaborate series of tunnels full of water, and gave the fish full reign of the entire ceiling.
From where we stand, it adds a whole new meaning to the phrase “free-range”.
3. Musical Walls
Known as the Court of Water, this funky Dresden art installation slash building design is the product of eclectic architect and artist Heike Bottcher.
He built the blue Rube Goldberg-esque wall in 1999 for the Kunsthof Passage farm collective. It features a number of downspouts, inclined gutters, and interconnected pipes that look like something out of a Dr. Seuss picture book. When it rains, it becomes an auditory experience like no other. While we have to commend the amount of time and energy that went into even conceiving of the wall in the first place and would love to see some other artists take on something this ambitious, we’re inclined to let the Germans have this one to themselves.
2. Hidden Rooms
If you were anything like me growing up, you lamented the fact that your house didn’t have a secret room that could only be accessed through a hidden door in the form of a bookcase. This has such a universal appeal that there are actually companies that specialize solely in designing and installing secret rooms for every need. One such company is Arizona based Creative Home, started by Steve Humble back in 2004. Since then he’s installed over 500 different hidden rooms, with many clients wanting it for increased security.
In other cases, hidden rooms can just be aesthetically pleasing. Or in the case of UK-based company Spiral Cellars, also function to maximize the efficiency of space – their specially designed wine cellars might set you back anywhere from $25,000 to a cool $100,000.
But it’s hard to get any more stylish than pulling up a trapdoor to retrieve that prized bottle of Cabernet.
1. 3D Epoxy Floors
There are a whole bunch of options to choose from when it comes to flooring for your home – from wood and tile to laminate and even rubber, the list goes on and on. However, there is another option. 3D epoxy floors beat all the others hands down when it comes to the mind-blowingly realistic effects they create. These flaws incorporate a combination of objects and images encapsulated within multiple translucent layers of epoxy resin. Just some of the awesome designs created this way include shells to create a beach scene within your home, or reefs.
More designs include waterfalls and underwater designs giving you a birds-eye aquarium view, incredible coin mosaics, and metallic epoxy floors which creates awesome shiny lava-like designs.
Or how about this, a city from above to greet you when you need the toilet after a night out.
Remember, Epoxy is extremely versatile so it isn’t just limited to flooring. Checkout this awesome kitchen top one imgur user created using bottle caps he collected for over 5 years.
It’s an awesome way to commemorate your travels for a bar at home. Those are just a few of the awesome designs that exist – your imagination really is the only limit!
If the old saying “home is where the heart is” rings true, then there’s no reason to hold any punches when it comes to building a house that speaks to your uniqueness, and these clever, quirky, and creative additions are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is possible. Do you have a favorite cool interior design feature of the ones we’ve covered, or can think of another one you’d like to see incorporated into your house one day? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading.